Simple Grocery Store Cider 2014

November 2014: Bought 5 gallons of Kapnick Orchards Cider at the grocery store, pitched a packet of Vintner’s Harvest MA33  yeast.  O.G. 1.046.

Mid-2015: I added a full 10″ cinnamon stick, on recommendation from several AABG club members.  The idea is to get hints of cinnamon that trigger associations with apple flavor (think apple pie), but stay below the threshold of identifiable cinnamon.  SG 0.993 (7% abv).

January 2016: kegged and added 2.5 tsp each of 10% K-Meta solution and potassium sorbate, along with table sugar (beet) to taste.  Over the year+ in a single vessel, the cider had dropped clear.

Measuring sugar to backsweeten:

  1. Pull a full hydrometer sample, measure (0.993), taste – way too dry, no balance to acidity
  2. Stir in a little sugar, taste, repeat; when it gets in the ballpark, measure gravity (1.009) – almost there
  3. Keep going – 1.015 was sweet, but balanced.  Maybe a little too sweet while still, but carbonation should even that out.  Target 1.013.
  4. Calculate amount of sweetener needed.  I need 20 ppg increase in gravity (from .993 -> 1.013) for 5 gallons, so 20 x 5 = 100 points.  One pound of table sugar yields 46 ppg so I need 100/46 = 2.18 lbs of sugar.

For reference, apparently Woodchuck Cider has a final gravity of 1.029!

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